Barbara Smith Alfaro

Rookie (Brooklyn, New York)

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Barbara Smith Alfaro has had poems and essays published in various journals including Poet Lore, Minimus, and The Chesapeake Reader. more »

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Best Poem of Barbara Smith Alfaro

Tough Guy


for Henry Brautigan

The Brooklyn apartment on Fenimore Street
had high ceilings and arched doorways.
My brother Bob was the apple of your eye
but I was the one you taught how to draw
pictures of a tree, a man’s face,
a rowboat near a lake.
After supper, in her favorite chair,
Mama read the funnies to Bob.
I was at the dining table, with you,
a sketchbook, charcoals and pastels.
Quiet as a lamb, I almost never spoke
when near you. Seven, skinny,
and sinless as a jellyfish,
I was silly with the mystery of ...

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